Football

Fergie: No let-up in title race

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Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Manchester United's title rivals to forget any notion that the Red Devils might begin a crucial week by taking it easy against Blackburn on Saturday evening.

United have eased into a five-point lead at the Barclays Premier League summit so even if they failed to beat Rovers at Old Trafford, Ferguson knows they could not be toppled.

"This game can kick you in the teeth," he said. "We lost a 12-point lead to Arsenal in 1998. That is a great reminder for us to keep going the whole road and not take rests. We don't need one anyway. These lads are young, fit and fresh. They can go the distance."

He added: "This (match) is as important as Tuesday night (against Inter Milan in the Champions League). We have to make sure we keep our focus on every game."

Wayne Rooney has already been guaranteed a start as Ferguson assesses the striker's chances of making the San Siro clash.

Jonny Evans could also be involved too given Nemanja Vidic is suspended in midweek.

The extent of the pain John O'Shea is getting in his sore heel will determine whether Evans plays at centre-half or right-back.

However, Ferguson certainly has plenty of options as his side try to pile the pressure on second-placed Liverpool, and in the process set a new European top-flight record by going 15 matches without conceding a goal and extend a nine-game winning streak.

"If you look too far ahead you can get yourself in a real tizz about things," reflected Ferguson. "We must concentrate on tomorrow because the league is a big issue for us.

"It sounds great - we have a five-point lead and a goal difference advantage of nine. But if you lose one game it doesn't sound too good at all."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Blackburn Rovers
John O'Shea
Premier League
Alex
Manchester United
Nemanja Vidic
Wayne Rooney
Jonny Evans
Liverpool

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